You know there is a fruit that is full of nutritional value yet mouth-watering. Sound interesting, yes you read that right, dragon fruit is a fruit full box of nutrition.
A hard, leather and spikes full surface with a mouthwatering soft pulp that is so delicious and full of nutrients and vitamins, that is dragon fruit. It is from the cactus species but used in many diseases and disorders. So in this article, we will discuss dragon fruit, its origin, family, scientific name, nutritional value, and benefits.
Let’s know more about dragon fruit and dragon fruit benefits;-
Scientific name :- Selenicereus undatus
Origin country:- America
Occurrence:- Dragon fruit is cultivated in Mexico, Southeast Asia, India, the United States, the Caribbean, Australia, and throughout tropical and subtropical world regions.
Why it is called Dragon Fruit?
It is called dragon fruit due to its spikes that are resembled dragon marks. It looks so exotic, but its flavor is like other fruits. It is so delicious and sweet in taste.
Dragon Fruit Nutrition
A dragon fruit can weigh about 150 grams to 600 grams, depending on the variety. There are about 60% part of dragon fruit is edible. It has vitamin C abundantly and due to being rich in vitamin C, it is a good anti-oxidant. The demand for dragon fruit is increased in the last few years. It was not so famous some years.
Let’s take a look into the nutritional value of dragon fruit;-
A 100 grams of dragon fruit contains-
- • Calories – 60
- • Protein – 2 Grams
- • Carbohydrates – 9 Grams
- • Fat – 2 Grams
- • Fiber – 1.5 Gram
- • Cholesterol – 0 mg
- • Iron – 0.74 grams
- • Sodium – 0 mg
- • vitamin C – 2.5 mg
- • Calcium – 18 mg
I have mentioned antioxidants, especially because dragon fruit is rich in many antioxidants. Its pulp has several following antioxidants.
It is found in the pulp of red dragon fruit ( one of the most popular varieties of dragon fruit). It reduces the risk of cancer and tumor cell growth. Studies show that betalains can suppress cancer by combating with oxidative stress.
This is a group of compounds, that has anti-cancer activities in test tubes. It has ultraviolet (UV) protective effects as well as anti-aging and anti-inflammatory, preservative, and hyperpigmentation effects.
Flavonoids have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects, and they protect your cells from oxidative damage that can lead to disease. Flavonoids can prevent the development of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The vibrant red color of dragon fruit is caused by Beta-carotene and lycopene. These two are plant pigments. According to the studies, carotenoids help to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Benefits of dragon fruit
Dragon fruit has a box of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. There are the following benefits of dragon fruit;-
Helps in chronic conditions
Studies suggest that diets high in antioxidants may help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis. Let’s discuss antioxidants?
“ Antioxidants are the substances that protect cells to damage that is caused by free radicals”
Free radicals are unstable molecules made by the process of oxidation during metabolism. Antioxidant protects cells by neutralizing the free radicals.
Dragon fruit has a number of antioxidants such as vitamin C, betalains, hydroxycinnamates, flavonoids, and carotenoids.
Always remember that always take antioxidants through natural resources, avoid taking antioxidants pills or any other resource. There are many side effects that have been seen from antioxidants supplements.
Dragon Fruit Benefits in weight loss
Obesity is a common problem in the whole world. Obesity has been seen in kids below 5 years as well as old men above 65. According to the reports of the World Health Organization;-
There are 9 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2020. This is obsoletely horrible.
World health organizations should announce obesity as a global epidemic. Every age group is suffering from obesity.
Dragon fruit can level down obesity and can help to maintain your BMI. Adding dragon fruit to your diet can help you achieve fitness goals. See there is no superfood and technique that quickly melts off fat and gives you a slimmer-looking appearance, dragon fruit is low in calories and sugar that’s why I have mentioned it in the chart of your weight loss diet.
For weight loss, it is necessary to cut down your hunger habits and stop overeating, and it is also necessary, what you eat or drink that is low in calories and don’t put a load on your diet chart. Dragon fruit can be the best option to choose for your weight loss diet as it is low in calories as well as it has several vitamins and minerals. Dragon fruit helps you to get satiated so that you don’t do overeating.
Helps in anemia
Anemia is a common problem during pregnancy. To understand the dragon fruit benefits in anemia, first, you have to understand what is anemia?
“Anaemia is a condition in which there are lack of red blood cells occurs”
The lack of red blood cells means a lack of hemoglobin because red blood cells are made from hemoglobin and hemoglobin is made from iron.
According to World Health Organization, there are 42% of children less than 5 years of age, and 40% of pregnant women worldwide suffer from anemia.
There is a need for hemoglobin to carry the oxygen and if you have low red blood cells or not enough hemoglobin, there will be a decreased capacity of the blood to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. So it is necessary to increase the quantity of iron in the body for the escalation of hemoglobin.
Anemia is very common in America, Doctors provide iron tablets in anemic conditions during pregnancy. These iron tablets can cause severe side effects such as;- constipation, acidity, etc.
Dragon fruit and Pregnancy
Dragon fruit can be the best substitute for these iron tablets during pregnancy because it is rich in iron content. Dragon fruit should be included in your diet during pregnancy.
Although some scientific studies also give evidence that dragon fruit can increase the erythrocyte and hemoglobin level in a pregnant woman on the seventh day of the administration.
Improves heart health
Your heart health depends on your BMI level. An increase in BMI is a major factor for high blood pressure, heart attack, arteriosclerosis, and strokes. Arteriosclerosis is the first stage of a heart attack. Dragon fruit improves heart health by acting in two ways;-
First, it acts by losing your body weight. While second, it has many antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, and omega 6 fatty acids.
Studies suggest that omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids reduce “bad” cholesterol levels. Bad cholesterol is a type of cholesterol that deposits in the heart arteries and causes plaque formation. That plaque is responsible for arteriosclerosis and finally heart attack.
Dragon Fruit Helps in digestion
Fiber is needed for good digestion. There is estimated that an adult needs 21-38 grams of fiber every day. While dragon fruit has about 2.9-gram fiber that can fulfill about 11% of the daily need of fiber. This is far better than having fiber supplements, which have prone chances of side effects. Fiber acts by regulating bowel movements. Having a regulatory bowel movement can help you to prevent constipation.
Dragon Fruit Boosts immunity
Vitamin c is necessary for a good immune system. Dragon fruit has vitamin C abundantly. Vitamin c helps you to prevent foreign invaders such as bacteria, fungus, and viruses. Vitamin c acts by boosting the immune system and is a good system to defend your body against such foreign invaders.
Strong your bone
There is calcium and magnesium needed for a healthy bone. So it is beneficial to eat any supplement which has calcium and magnesium. Fortunately, dragon fruit has both calcium and magnesium. Dragon fruit has magnesium more than any other fruit.
Studies have reported that magnesium is necessary for strong bones.
Helps in lowering the blood sugar level.
Type -2 diabetes patient has an overheating problem and dragon fruit have the ability to satiate, thus dragon fruit is recommended by doctors in type-2 diabetes.
Dragon fruit skin benefits
Dragon fruit has vitamin C, antioxidants, and many minerals that keep your skin bright, acne-free, and prevent aging.
So let’s take a short look, dragon fruit benefits for skin;-
Helps in sunburn skin
Dragon fruit helps to soothe the sunburned skin, thanks to vitamin B3. Dragon fruit has hydroxycinnamates that protect from UV rays.
Dragon fruit for acne
Dragon fruit has antioxidants and vitamin C that keep acne-free skin. You have to just apply the pulp of dragon fruit using a cotton ball.
Dragon fruit has vitamin C that helps to rejuvenate the skin. You have to just drink one glass of dragon fruit juice daily.
Helps to get rid of aging
Anxiety, stress, an unbalanced lifestyle, and pollution all make skin dull and speed up aging. Everyone hates aging. In this condition, dragon fruit can help you to make your skin aging-free. You have to just make a face pack of dragon fruit pulp and yogurt and apply it on the skin, after 20 minutes rinse with warm water.
A natural moisturizer
Dragon fruit skin benefits include the property that it is a natural moisturizer because it contains 80% water and many vitamins. All these are essential for your skin.
Having a storehouse of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, the dragon fruit is ready to get a tag as a “superfood”. Having all the essential minerals and vitamins in a pretty decent amount makes it essential for a balanced diet.
If you want several benefits and don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on many supplements, then dragon fruit can be a good option for you.